Frequently Asked Questions About Impact Windows & Doors
If you have any other questions regarding impact windows and doors, please feel free to reach out to us on our Contact Us page or the form on this page.
Q: What are the advantages of aluminum vs. wood?
- Aluminum window and door frames and sashes are among the strongest designs available.
- Wood degrades in the harsh southern climate of high humidity and sun.
- Aluminum is a recyclable green product.
- Aluminum windows and doors provide years of protection, proven by years of installations in hurricane-prone areas.
- Aluminum windows and doors are factory-finished and require minimal maintenance.
Q: Why impact windows and doors instead of shutters?
When you are evaluating hurricane protection options such as impact windows versus shutters, there are several factors you should consider:
- Do you live in the home year round? If not, who will put up the shutters when you are not there?
- Are you physically capable of installing the shutters by yourself? Are you likely to put the shutters up if a storm comes?
- Do you like the look of roll-down or accordion shutters mounted to the exterior of your house?
- Is energy efficiency important to you? Shutter systems do not provide you with energy savings like impact windows and doors.
- How important is home security to you? Unlike shutters, impact windows and doors provide 24/7 protection against intrusion.
- With impact windows and doors you will enjoy a significant reduction in outside noise and 99% of ultraviolet rays will be eliminated.
- What about safety? Oftentimes shutters remain installed after a hurricane, blocking egress in the event of a fire. Also, during a hurricane closed shutters block outside light and visibility.
- Consider what happens if a shutter fails. If glass behind the shutter breaks, the house “envelope” is breached possibly resulting in a catastrophic building failure.
- Leaving the shutters up while gone invites potential burglars.
Q: Is Hurricane film the same as an impact window or door?
Films that are applied to existing glass are not approved as an impact window or door. They may be approved and actually hold valid Miami Dade County Notice of Acceptance (Product Approval) as a plastic component. This simply means that the film material is flame retardant. Window films serve the same level of impact protection as installing impact glass into a non-impact window, except that the film may scratch. While the film may hold the glass shards together, the glass with the film will fall out of the window frame. Sometimes film dealers offer to overlap the film on to the window frame and claim that this resolves this problem.
This window treatment is not approved for impact resistance by Miami-Dade County. Refer to the question in this section that reads “Can I replace the existing glass on my windows and doors with impact glass and get the same level of protection? ”Reflective window films may be very good at reflecting the sun and making the home more comfortable. This is the same benefit that can be achieved with a coated glass product. Hurricane film on a window is not the same as impact windows and doors.
Q: Can I replace the existing glass on my windows and doors with impact glass and get the same level of protection?
No. An impact window and/or door is a combination of a strong frame, impact glass, secure method of attaching the glass to the frame and a strong method of attaching the framing to the structure. While the glass may be able to resist the impact, the window framing will not be able to hold the glass in place. This type of upgrade is not recognized by any building department or insurance companies.
Q: How do I get a quote for impact windows and doors?
You can receive a quote for impact windows and doors by visiting our Contact Us page to Please click here to contact us.
Q: How do I get a premium reduction in my home insurance when I have code-approved impact windows and doors?
Contact your insurance company. Insurance regulations change frequently; however, currently many insurance companies offer discounts for hurricane protection.
Q: Do I really need impact windows and/or doors?
If you live anywhere that is subject to wind damage, you will need impact windows and/or doors. The only way to be certain that the products will perform properly is if they are approved by one of the governing bodies. Many consumers also buy impact windows and doors for other benefits including the burglar-deterrent feature and security. Our impact window and door products have deterred many burglaries in the past. Imagine how you will sleep at night knowing how difficult it would be to break into your home. With a non-impact product, burglars can simply enter the house by breaking a window. Our impact windows and doors have industry-leading warranties that provide break-in protection. See warranty for details.
Q: When shopping for impact windows, how do I know that they have the proper code approvals?
types, product properties and product uses. When evaluating code approvals, make sure the products are specifically approved for impact by a reputable governing agency (such as Miami-Dade County) and verify the approved performance levels (PSF). Some manufacturers misrepresent their products as impact approved, when in fact the product is not. Beware of the following:
- Approved NON-IMPACT windows and doors
- Impact windows and impact doors that are NOT approved for larger sizes, heights or locations in a structure
- So-called “impact products,” which are simply impact glass in a non-impact approved window. Under tropical storm conditions, the glass could fly out of the window framing.
Q: Do I need impact windows and doors that are that strong?
Why take a chance? The benefits of impact windows and doors far outweigh the cost difference and, in many cases, it’s minimal. Impact windows and doors not only protect you in a storm and act as a burglar deterrent, they also have longevity that makes them worth buying. We stand behind our products with an industry-leading warranty. If you are considering purchasing impact resistant windows or doors, you owe it to yourself to understand the long-term value that they bring.
Q: How should I compare one impact window to another?
This is an important investment, so take the time to do your homework before you buy impact windows and doors. Some important things to do when making a decision are:
- Take time to see the actual impact windows and or impact door for yourself. Visit our showrooms and ask to see examples of different impact windows and impact doors. A well-made impact window not only should perform under severe weather conditions, but should enhance the beauty of your home. At any price point, attention to fit and finish and details like the designs of its muntin and glazing beads are just some of the obvious differences.
- Evaluate the strength of the impact windows or impact doors based on its design load (PSF- Pounds per Square Foot). The design load is the product’s ability to resist forces like that created by hurricane winds. Not all impact windows are created equal: they are approved at different levels of performance. The higher the PSF, the stronger the product. Compare the PSF rating to understand how products differ in strength. As an example, CGI’s 360 Single Hung impact window is approved as high as 210 PSF (equates to 290 MPH winds).
Q: What do our impact windows and doors do that others can’t?
Below are just a few examples:
- Impact windows and impact doors are test-proven to be one of the strongest products on the market today.
- Impact windows can be installed on virtually any building, including high-rise buildings, and meet the most stringent impact window code requirements.
- We offer 10’ tall impact windows like Single-Hung windows, impact French Doors and Sliding Glass Doors.
- We offer impact doors that are available and approved in both in-swing and out-swing configurations.
- Most of the hinges for impact doors are made by Hager and are fabricated from solid brass or stainless steel.
- We offer a three-point door lock mechanism for our French Doors to allow for improved security, operation and product strength.
Q: What sets Prestige Windows & Doors apart from the competition?
What sets Prestige Windows & Doors apart is performance, appearance and quality. We know how important protecting your family is, so why leave it up to chance? Our performance ratings for impact windows and doors are unparalleled in the industry. Our internal quality standards go beyond those of any other company. Architects and consumers recognize our reputation for quality that has been constant for over 20 years.